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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Well, yesterday's euphoria didn't last long. I posted my entry, went to my inbox and freaked out.

Marcher Lord Press has decided to hold two contests. The first involves 40 manuscripts that will be voted on and out like American Idol. No problem. Those stories appear to be pre-selected. The second will be for new manuscripts and focus on things like 20 word premise, 100 word back cover blurb (I love that word), and the first 500 words of the book. The contest entry deadline is Oct 29.

You're thinking, "That's great! Way to go, Turtle!"

Yeah, not so much.

See, not only does it move my arbitrary deadline for submission four days closer, but it means I will no longer be one of 20-40 manuscripts, but one of who knows how many manuscripts, all vying for the prize of a guaranteed acquisitions review.

There's no point in not entering the contest. This will be the only thing Marcher Lord will be doing for the next four months. When I get rejected in the first round, I'll have a choice of sitting on my manuscript and waiting for the contest to be done to try again, or look for another publishing company to try.

You're thinking, "Don't be so negative. You could make it."

Yeah, except my first 500 words...not so exciting. I start the action within the first two pages, but not within the first 500 words. The first 500 words are setting the scene and telling us just how boring a person Caissa is when we start. If they had paint, she would have been watching paint dry in the first 500 words. The book doesn't stay that way, but it does start that way.

That's why I posted the poll. I may change the opening.

I hate doing it. I like the opening. But as it is right now...I don't think it has a chance against someone who opens with a gunfight or a life changing decision.

Anyhoo, I'll definitely be writing about rejection soon. Sooner than intended, mostly likely.

Please vote in my poll. Feel free to comment. I need your prayers more than anything. Not the kind where I win, but the kind where God grants me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Oh, and sleep. This sort of challenge keeps this turtle up at night. If I can pray for you while I'm awake, let me know.

I just checked my inbox. No news is good news today.


  1. I voted! I know it's painful to have to change something YOU love. Believe me, I KNOW! But you're right. As writers, we have to GRAB the reader's attention -- and not only in the first sentence. If we want an agent, editor, or whoever to WANT to read on -- we have to give them a reason to. Maybe part of your sharing about Carissa's boring life if more backstory? Just a thought. OR maybe you just don't have to share it all in the first part. Intertwine it in and share it bit by bit, piece by piece, as it fits into the story. You might just surprise yourself! And remember, nothing written is ever wasted -- even if you have to cut it all. Sometimes, we have to write what's not quite right to get to the lesson learned and figure out what IS right. I'll pray for you and you can pray for me in our writing journeys. Keep at it, dear friend. Happy Writing!

  2. Thank you, Susie. Not to be intrusive, but which sentence did you vote for? I know you'll never read the book (because I won't let you), but I am curious what you think of as a good opener.


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